Of Spreadsheets and Small Children
Your boss (and longtime crush) Hwang Minhyun has always seemed very collected and stern. However, your impression of him changes when he begins bringing his niece to work, tasked by his sister with watching the toddler while she’s away. The two of you bond over her.
- for the single!dad au and i kno minhyun isn’t a dad (he’s an uncle) but like theres still children sO,,,
- also the company is named empire bc emperor hwang lmao im not funny
- and reader is a secretary
You sighed, doing your best to prop open your eyelids as you typed into the spreadsheet, carefully crosschecking the data you were entering to the online database.
“Late night again?” Your coworker and best friend at work, Kim Jaehwan, asked you as he popped into your small office, sending you a sympathetic smile. You groaned, leaning back to take a quick break. Your back cracked at the movement as you looked up at the clock on the wall, ticking away steadily.
“Yeah, boss is still out, so I’ve had extra work,” you explained with a shrug, turning your attention back to your computer.
“Minhyun never takes this much time off, I wonder what happened?” Jaehwan commented dryly, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. You shot him a dirty look.
“Mr. Hwang,” you corrected with a roll of your eyes, “and shouldn’t you be finishing your own work?”
“Somehow, irritating you is a lot more interesting,” he snickered, saluting you, “I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah, see you,” you bobbed your head as he finally left your office.
You’d had a job at Empire Co. for about a year and a half, working as the CEO’s assistant and secretary. Hwang Minhyun, a collected, slightly cold and brusque man, had grown to become extremely dependent on you, and it was strange to go to work without Minhyun’s presence right next door, separated by one thin sheet of glass.
It was the first time he’d been gone for more than a couple of hours—the man had even come in to work when he had the flu, coughing and wheezing as he disinfected every surface of the office. Citing a ‘family emergency’, he’d been away for about a week, and it was strange. Rumors had gone flying that he’d perhaps gotten arrested, gotten a girl pregnant or was getting married in Las Vegas. You’d rolled your eyes to all three conspiracies.
Your phone notification went off, signaling to you that you had new text messages with its quick succession.
Messages with: ceo hwang
(y/n), I will be returning tomorrow
Please have the Min files ready on my desk
And a jar of peanut butter
You frowned at the last text.
You will be reimbursed, of course
You smiled at your boss’s apparent ignorance to the fact that it was super weird for a boss to ask their secretary to buy peanut butter for them.
Nevertheless, the next day, you arrived to the Empire building with the thick manila envelope holding the Min files and three jars of peanut butter—creamy, chunky, and the natural kind (you hadn’t been sure which he had wanted, but were too shy to ask). As you hurried to Minhyun’s office, you couldn’t help but wonder what the hell he needed peanut butter for.
“Ah, (y/n)!” Minhyun sent you a smile, accepting the grocery bag and manila envelope, “thank you so much, I really do appreciate it.”
You froze at the sound of a high pitched voice, gaze immediately darting towards the source of noise. It was a toddler peeking out from behind Minhyun’s desk. Her hair was gathered up in a messy ponytail on the top of her head, and she clutched a raggedy blanket in her hand.
You looked back at Minhyun, entirely confused as to why there was a toddler in the office.
“(y/n), this is Minah,” Minhyun said, holding out his hand. The toddler, Minah, tottered over, clasping her hand into his. You wanted to coo at how adorable her tiny hands were as she peered up at you with huge eyes. “Minah, this is (y/n). They help me a lot at work, and is super kind and helpful.”
“Hi,” Minah smiled widely up at you, showing off her adorable dimples.
“Hi, Minah,” you said, kneeling to the ground, “are you here to visit the office?”
“Ah, actually,” Minhyun smiled in embarrassment, rubbing the back of his neck, “my sister asked me to watch Minah for a couple of weeks. She’s on a business trip to the tropics, and didn’t want to risk having Minah catch an illness, since she’s so young.”
“Ah,” you nodded in understanding, “so she’s not your kid?”
Minhyun turned a bit red at that, “did you think she was?”
You shrugged, trying to surpress a laugh, “that’s what the coworkers were thinking—that you’d taken time for some child or something.”
“Well, they’re not wrong,” Minhyun chuckled at that. You were a bit surprised at the moment—you’d never really made small talk like this with Minhyun before. He would ask about your family and how you were doing, but never to this extent.
“Uncle, uncle,” Minah began complaining, “my hair is messy, and it’s making my head itch!”
“Baby, you know I don’t know how to tie hair,” Minhyun sighed, kneeling down to meet Minah at eye-level. “It took me thirty minutes just to figure out this one,” Minhyun whispered to you, making you chuckle.
“May I?” You asked, gesturing to Minah. Your own older brother had a couple kids, so you were pretty comfortable with taking care of them.
“Please,” Minhyun replied, stepping back to let you sit down next to Minah.
“Here,” you patted the ground in front of you, taking a seat on the floor of Minhyun’s office. It was one of the strangest situations you’d ever been in—doing the hair of your boss’s niece—but Minah was cute, which kind of made up for it.
You carefully smoothed out Minah’s hair before tying half of it up into a little sprout at the top of her hair, leaving the hair tie loose enough so that it wouldn’t hurt her head.
“There you go,” you said cheerfully, getting back onto your feet.
“Wow, you’re pretty good at this,” Minhyun observed as Minah peered at herself in Minhyun’s computer reflection. “Do you have younger siblings?”
“I have nieces and nephews myself,” you explained with a smile, gathering your things, “so I have a bit of experience watching kids. If you ever need any help, feel free to ask.”
“It’s alright, I couldn’t impose on you like that,” Minhyun assured you, “well, thank you for your help.”
“Yeah, no problem,” you replied, heading to your own desk quickly. As you powered up your computer, you glanced at Minhyun’s office through the see-through glass wall, and almost burst out laughing—Minhyun was vigorously wiping Minah’s face with an antibacterial cleaning wipe used to clean bathrooms and hard surfaces.
Messages with: ceo hwang
>Mr. hwang, those wipes aren’t meant for children…
You watched in amusement as Minhyun checked his phone before looking over at you through the glass, a sheepish look on his face as he discareded the used wipe.
Its been an hour and I’ve already messed up…